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Power of Photography: Tools and Emotions

I had a little birdie trying to get into my house today. It kept hopping around on that wire, flying down to the bottom of the window, back to the top, hanging, flitting around. This was the best shot I was able to capture. The composition feels very lonely; all of the negative space, the solo bird staring out of the frame (creates tension – what is it looking at?). The bird itself feels tense, its wings not outstretched to fly away but bunched together close against its small body. What is it thinking? Why is it there?

This sort of captures how I feel at the moment. Lots of space. Floaty? Not necessarily being alone but feeling lonely, feeling like something is missing. Some color has been taken out of my life, some vitality, some part of me is missing. I’m sitting here, tense, waiting to fly away but something just keeps stopping me from getting to where I want to be, and I can’t figure out what it is or why it’s there, or even what is stopping me.. anyway, that wasn’t the point of this post.

It’s always amazing to me just how powerful photography is as an art form. Sure, we don’t necessarily create in the generally accepted sense of making something out of nothing… but we capture what we see, we have our choice of tools, we shape what we see to how we want to see it – and I’m not referring to Photoshop or other photo manipulation, if you were thinking that route. That bird was flying around in the window. Why did I not capture it while it was flying or while it was upside-down? Why did I not capture more of the window? Why isn’t there something else in the frame? Why did I choose this color palette (or lack of saturation)? Why didn’t I just leave the white balance as it was instead of adding an (almost) sepia tone? 

Because I wanted it to feel lonely. I wanted that sense of melancholy. I paused that moment in time and shaped it until it became mine – to show the world how I saw it at that moment.

That, to me, is the power of photography.


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